USTA rating is a joke

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by robert, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. robert

    robert Rookie

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    #1
  2. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    I don't know, I don't see DQ material there. He won two squeekers at 4'0 and his 4'5 wins are mostly close. He might get bumped year end, but his scores don't indicate he's egregiously mis- rated
     
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  3. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    Interestingly a local player asked me about this player a few days ago so I'd taken a look.

    He probably should be DQ'd, but played three 4.0 matches to start his year which enabled him to establish a low enough rating that despite the great results at 4.5, his dynamic rating hasn't risen enough to exceed the strike threshold 3 times.

    This is a great example of what I think is a flaw in how strikes are determined. As I understand it, strikes occur when the dynamic rating exceeds the threshold, not when an individual match result exceeds the threshold. This means that if you can establish a low enough starting point, or alternate good and bad matches, the averaging that takes place will keep the dynamic rating below the threshold.

    If individual match ratings were used for strikes, this player would probably be DQd as he has four match results that are well into the range of a 4.5, but he probably has at most just one strike using the dynamic rating.
     
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  4. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Not really too out of sorts in my opinion, close 3 setter in 4.0 18+ league, his 4.5 wins are in the 40+ league and only one blow out to a guy who looks low end 4.5
     
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  5. robert

    robert Rookie

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    Check out the details of 4.0 league results, the 3 setters game is against 3.5 player. Also winning all 4.5 players. What does it tell you?
     
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  6. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Look, the system can be games if you are willing to play close against lesser competition. That is how it works, just deal with it. There is no perfect system. The system is objective and results based. That is really all you can ask for. This does not make it a "joke".
     
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  7. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    It tells me that the guy has been improving.

    He played 4.0 18+ league early in the year, so was probably just getting back into it. And his scores were competitive but not overpowering.

    To his credit, in the 40+ season that followed, he decided to play at 4.5, although he could have played at 4.0 as well. So to me it looks like he is trying to do the right thing; he realized that he had outgrown 4.0 and so just played on a 4.5 team. And he is competitive at 4.5.

    It seems you are trying to paint him as a sandbagger who is manipulating his rating, but I think that's not true and you are not giving the guy credit for improving, realizing that he is no longer really a 4.0, and playing just at 4.5 following that. If he was trying to manipulate his rating, he would have played 4.0 during the 40+ season also and made the scores look competitive - that would have been the best way to make sure he stays at 4.0.
     
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  8. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    the 2 3set 4.0 matches looks like sandbagging for sure
     
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  9. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I believe you need to do some additional data mining before you can make that statement. Look at the histories of the two players he beat in those matches. One is a self-rated 3.5 who has smoked just about everyone he's played at that level, and only losing 1 set in 8 matches and that was to the player in question. The other looks to be a solid 4.0 singles player winning three times in straight sets and his only other loss besides the player in question went to a TB.
     
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  10. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    It is silly to say that a guy with a 4.0S rating is sandbagging if he is playing 4.5 league matches. If he were sandbagging he'd be avoiding matches against 4.5 players like the plague, instead he is winning them. This smells of a guy who is just misrated. I'm guessing that he is a strong player, just coming back and, from his name, perhaps from another country. If they don't have typical juniors levels and collegiate play there, then it would be easy for him to end up rated at 4.0.

    Incidentally, if you google his name you find someone of the same name who graduated from a Div 1 school as an elite crew athlete and who is 6'6" - such a person playing tennis would improve very quickly indeed...
     
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  11. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    It is certainly possible he recognized he should be playing at 4.5 and so played in the 40+ league that way, and if so, kudos to him. His 18+ 4.0 team did qualify for local playoffs though and he did play in that this past weekend thumping a strong 4.0 6-0,6-4.
     
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  12. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    If you file a Grievance with the USTA office, he or she wil be DQ'ed. it is that simple
     
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  13. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Peer pressure from his 4.0 ex-teammates and captain, I would assume.
     
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  14. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    I know this feeling very very well. I have tried really hard to avoid playing 4.0 matches for the last couple of months, but it is incredibly difficult when you started playing for a team and they are counting on you especially teams that are playoff bound and actually have a shot at going to nationals. I ended up only playing 1 match at sectionals for my 40+ team due to personal reasons. Without those reasons it would have been incredibly difficult to have not gone. There was a huge amount of pressure from the captain and other players.
     
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  15. jesses469

    jesses469 New User

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    I just got DQ'd from 3.5. First year in USTA. Had some 7-5 and 6-4 sets against others at 3.5. I never played high school or college tennis. 38 years old. Followed guidelines here for self rating -
    http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/General%20_%20Experienced%20Player%20Guidelines.pdf

    How am I really supposed to know what my rating legitimately is without prior USTA experience or without having been evaluated by a qualified USTA rep?

    Then I get a DQ "GOTCHA!" right before districts with no prior warning(s). This is a dubious system. Feel bad for my team because now my wins are losses.
     
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  16. HoustonHacker

    HoustonHacker New User

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    Does Roger Mark run this team? That guy has taken teams to Nationals a dozen or more times, I think.
     
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  17. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I do feel for you ... especially if you were being earnest in how you self rated and were not intentionally trying to sandbag.

    However, it is really hard to get DQ'd if you are playing at the right level. Even if you had a couple close sets, I bet in general you were way better than other 3.5's .... You captain must have known he was playing with fire with a self rated guy that was doing very well.

    This forum is loaded with people complaining about folks that do not get DQ'd that they think should be ... you will not find much sympathy for someone that was caught.
     
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  18. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, that's unfortunate, assuming you self-rated in good faith. It's not that bad though - you did get to play multiple matches, and now you know where you stand. You won't be able to play at districts, but then again, most players don't even get to districts. The worst is for your teammates, because of the overturned matches... but even then, I'm sure your captain was aware of the risk.

    Your question "How am I really supposed to know what my rating legitimately is" is very valid. I think the only way is to play against some rated players, and see how you do. For example, when you joined the team, perhaps it would have been a good idea to play some practice matches against your teammates. If you are beating them all, then good chance you are self-rating too low.
     
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  19. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    This does highlight what I beleive is a serious flaw in the system. OK, so the computer procesed your results and found you were out of level and DQ'd you. That's not the flaw. The flaw is overtunring the results and punishing both you and your teammates. People like you are not the cheaters. You followed the guidlines, did the self-rating in good faith, and played the matches to the best of your ability. You should be moved up to the next level if you were playing out of level. You should not have your results overturned and thereby punish you and your teammates for playing in good faith and NOT intentionally manipulating scores to avoid a DQ. This rule always left a bad taste in my mouth because it's the poeple who AREN'T cheating who are punished. The cheaters and true sandbaggers know enough not to get DQ'd. Results should be overturned only when there is known cheating going on (i.e. falsifying self-rating, throwing matches, reporting false scores, etc).
     
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  20. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well, I'm kinda on the fence on this one.

    You make a lot of valid points.

    On the other hand, if results are not overturned, then there is nothing to prevent unscrupulous captains from using players who they strongly suspect will be DQ'd just to help them get into playoffs. And this is not fair to other contending teams.

    I really don't know the right answer.
     
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  21. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    That guy should be DQ'd based on his 4.5 wins, he has beat three 4.5 "C" or "B" rated players in singles ... each of those should generate a strike for a 4.0 self rated player.
     
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  22. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    I tend to lean towards what OrangePower is saying on this one. I do see the issue and it doesn't seem fair to penalize the rest of the team. But since there isn't a good way to know for sure if this was a "good faith" DQ or a "got caught despite my best efforts" DQ, you need a way to discourage the latter. One way to do this is for the captain/team to have the potential match reversals hanging over their head as a way to discourage taking on the risk of a sandbagger that is clearly below level.

    And note that at 3.5 and below, the threshold for a strike is pretty high and someone has to be very clearly above level to get DQ'd, so it isn't really a gray area.
     
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  23. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    I disagree. You can't really have an automatic strike for a win playing up. The opponent could be a low rated 4.5 that is perhaps on their way to being bumped down so the result is actually expected. And in doubles with a partner and two opponents ratings involved, it becomes more complicated. And a hard and fast rule also ignores normal variance in play and specific match-ups between given players.

    Just let the algorithm do its job. Better solutions are to tighten up the thresholds for a DQ or do as many on this board have suggested and simply not allow self-rated players to advance to the post-season (I'm coming around to the idea slowly).
     
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  24. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    How many matches did you play before getting the notice of the DQ and what were your scores?
     
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  25. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Also, I get the sense that your team is still going to districts ... is this true? Or have your losses eliminated your team from the playoffs?
     
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  26. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Nobody is going to great lengths to hide people and manipulate self-ratings and whatnot "just to get into" the playoffs. The people who are doing that are doing it to go to nationals and get their Holy Paperweight.

    The closest I've ever seen to this was last year a guy self-rated and signed up for 4.0 and won matches until he was DQ'd. I looked him up and there's a blog in Spanish about him as a hitting partner for some Argentinian pro or something. LOL, 4.0, yeah. Well, this year, he's a 4.5B and isn't even trying to hide a S-rating, and he hasn't lost more than 2 games in any match, all at 18+ 4.5 #1 singles. He was on the two-year sandbagger plan. LOL.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
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  27. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    Prime example why people should rank .5 higher than they really are. That way, they can get bumped down if they suck and then back up a year later if they get better or start beating people at the lower level. Seems like a fairer way to do it. Problem is, 3.5 players think they're 3.0 players and 4.5 players think they're 4.0 players. In the end it boils down to people ranking lower because THEY DON'T WANT TO LOSE. No other reason. They know that their win/lose ratio will be better if they rank lower than higher based on what they feel their ability is.
     
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  28. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    You absolutely should have a strike for winning against a computer (or benchmark) rated player above your level in singles

    If you are beating a 4.5(in this case multiple 4.5's) in singles you are not a 4.0 and have misrepresented yourself in the self rating process, regardless if it was intentional or not.

    Also none of this was based on doubles, so not sure why you brought that up ... it's not relevant.

    I'm starting to warm up to some idea to stop the self rated players dominating post season myself, although I think completely banning them is too much. Perhaps limit teams to 1 self rated player per match at championships, or maybe require self rated players to have 4 regular season matches to qualify for championship play.
     
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  29. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    So, you self rate at 4.0 but happen to play up at 4.5 as well. You play singles against a 4.5B who barely became a 4.5 (4.01) the prior year and because he is benchmark can't appeal down. The 4.5 happens to lose his first few matches at 4.5 and his dynamic rating actually falls to 3.90. In this singles match you happen to win 2-6, 7-6, 1-0.

    So you've eked out a win over a "4.5" that is likely not a 4.5 anymore and further, in that eked out win you lost more games than you won. This should be an automatic strike? I don't think so.

    This isn't to say there aren't matches where a 4.0 playing up and winning at 4.5 should result in a strike, but those will be where the opponent is stronger (dynamic rating actually in the range for a 4.5) and the score is more indicative that the 4.0 really was clearly the better player. But the NTRP algorithm will likely flag these as strikes anyway.

    All "wins" at 4.5 are not created equal is my point, so a blanket "any win above your rating is a strike" policy has its own issues.
     
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  30. jesses469

    jesses469 New User

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    Actually it seems they've already clinched so that's awesome. I'd be feeling like a real pos if they lost this weekend and lost out due to some tiebreaker.
     
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  31. jesses469

    jesses469 New User

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  32. jesses469

    jesses469 New User

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  33. schmke

    schmke Professional

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    Just curious, what happened in that first match that only one set was played?

    And did your DQ letter tell you which matches were your strikes? I haven't done a full analysis, but my guess would be they were from the 4/20, 5/11, and 6/16 matches. I'd love to know which they were though to confirm.
     
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  34. jesses469

    jesses469 New User

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    The guy retired a few points into the second set complaining of a cramp.

    Pretty sure those were the matches in question, although they don't specifically mention them within the documents sent. It's just a copy of your record. I'm no sandbagger but after hitting with some 3.5 I did feel I had a decent chance to get bumped up...at the end of the year.

    Whatever. It was a fun experience. Played seven matches for $30-$40. Met some nice people. Most importantly, the team is still going to districts despite my Luke Skywalker "I'm endangering the mission" moment.
     
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  35. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    The OP guy seems to be misrated, reading between the lines on his behavior, I agree that is was likely an innocent mistake. Depending on your definition of "sandbagging" this may or may not be an example of it.

    But that is all moot to the individuals and teams he shouldn't have beat in 4.0 so DQing the guy is reasonable.
     
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  36. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Just curious... did you hit with some 3.5s or perhaps your teammates before the season started, and how did you feel against them (stronger/weaker/same)?
     
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  37. jesses469

    jesses469 New User

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    I hit several times with one who was on the team prior to joining the team. He started playing USTA earlier this year and self rated 3.5. We are pretty close to the same ability. Don't think I chose the best person to use as a baseline because he'll no doubt he'll get bumped at the end of the year.
     
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  38. jesses469

    jesses469 New User

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    Just found out some kid I know who is currently playing DIV II tennis is playing 4.0. According to this, the minimum a current player can rate is 4.5: http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/General _ Experienced Player Guidelines.pdf

    He rated right out of high school. Is that the norm? This guy would get chopped up at 4.5 but guess that's besides the point. If he's middle of the road at 4.0 does he just stay that until the computer says otherwise?
     
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  39. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    If he is computer rated, then that is his rating regardless of what self-rating guidlines would force him rate at. The computer rating overrides everything else.
     
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  40. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    I agree. If there is one suggestion that would absolutely have an impact on players who underrate themselves, it would be to not allow any self-rated players to advance to any playoffs. You shouldn't be able to compete at that level until you have an established rating. That one change would clean up a whole lot of the sandbagging that goes on now.
     
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  41. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Yes. Welcome to human nature. Winning is more fun than losing---and some people will stop at nothing to win. Sad but true.
     
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  42. brokenRPM

    brokenRPM Rookie

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    I agree. I see this in my league all the times. Guys don't want to be bumped up.
     
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  43. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    Misrating is not always intentional or nefarious. Some players are new to USTA and self rate according to the descriptions of the different levels or have coaches which assign a rating based upon a skills test.

    Unless one is using AKAs, is a former intercollegiate player, or is tossing matches to game the system it may very well be an honest mistake.

    One thing is for sure though: beating up on lesser competition is real bore and makes one worse.
     
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  44. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Very true.

    Thanks for sharing this too. Pathetic. But since I wasn't one of his victims I could smile...

    True. One data point in any system is statistically insignificant. He could play 20 more 4.5's and never get a sniff of a W.
     
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  45. robert

    robert Rookie

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    I didn't get the logical here. Do you mean even if he beat all of the 4.5 makes him as legit 4.0? i.e. without blowing out all 4.5 makes him stay 4.0 reasonable?

    Also USTA rating really screwed. Just heard that not only he didn't get DQed but also he didn't bumped up in early start rating.

     
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  46. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Getting DQ'd is tricky since you have to have your dynamic rating get above the strike threshold (i.e. 4.15), not just the upper limit of the rating level (i.e. 4.0), and strikes are generated off your dynamic rating, not the match ratings. Once your dynamic rating is established, it's just a slow creep upwards if you are playing above level, which can make it hard to reach the strike threshold. I'd be surprised if he really wasn't rated up, though. Why are early start ratings out so early? Usually, they come in October or November here.
     
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  47. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    LOL. You are correct in your assessment of the system---which simply reaffirms the idea that if someone is intelligent and dedicated to the task, he can and will figure a way around pretty much whatever set of rules and parameters are put into place to prevent cheating. It usually catches up with them eventually, but if they are smart and very determined, they can evade a day of reckoning for a long, long time.
     
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